Press Release June 2010: Office Chatting Costs Employers Over 2bn A Year

The UK's only dedicated recruitment agency review site has today revealed that the majority of Brits spend 67 minutes every day talking about unrelated topics during work time - costing their employers over £2bn a year.

Research was conducted by the UK's only dedicated recruitment agency review site, who wanted to see how much time was spent in the office that wasn't focused on work duties. The site surveyed 1,546 members of the British public to see how much time was being spent by employees talking about unrelated issues. found that of those surveyed, more than half, 52%, admitted to talking about the previous night's TV during office chats, whilst a third, 34%, said that their love life was the main topic of conversation.

When asked, "How much time do you estimate you spend talking about unrelated issues at work, every day?", found that the average time was 67 minutes, with 8% confessing to spending 3 hours or more a day chatting to colleagues at work.

Of those that admitted talking at work, a third, 34%, said that they didn't think that it affected their performance, with more than half, 52%, of these saying that they would often work whilst discussing unrelated topics. 23% said that they would only chat depending on who was in the room, with four eighths, 79%, saying that they would never talk about unrelated issues in front of their boss.

The top ten topics that people talk about in the office:

1.    Television - 52%
2.    Weekend plans - 49%
3.    Food - 46%
4.    Sport - 43%
5.    Previous evening - 41%
6.    Colleagues - 37%
7.    Friends - 35%
8.    Love life - 34%
9.    Music - 31%
10.    Holidays - 29%

The average UK salary is £23,472 per year, or £489 per week which means that the hourly wage is £13.04. Based on this figure, and the fact that the average amount of time spent procrastinating at work is 67 minutes according to the study, the average British employee will cost their company £14.56 each day, or £72.80 for each five day week. There are currently 28.79m employed people in the UK meaning that over £2bn is lost each year due to office chatter.

Lisette Howlett, Managing Director of said;

"We all know the excitement of coming into work and wanting to talk about last night's events, whether it be on the TV or what you got up to last night, but with over £2bn being lost each year, it's important to rein it in a little bit. It is however, a huge bonus for employees to have a good relationship with each other, in terms of morale especially, so in many ways it's a good thing to talk - just not too much!"

She continued;

"Some suggestions would be for employers encourage office workers to take their breaks with other colleagues, and for staff to arrive a bit earlier or leave a bit later."


Gabrielle Lofthouse, 10 Yetis PR
Tel: 01452 348 211
T: @Gabriella_PRowl

Note to Editors

About website is totally independent and not linked to a job board or recruiter which makes it ideally placed to provide such information is committed to fair feedback with checks and balances in place to support this
Free to use for all with a strong and growing knowledge centre, Blog and Forum
Lisette has over 20 years industry experience with such firms as ICI, Zeneca/AstraZeneca and Syngenta as well as local government and the public sector.